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Pricey silence of Congress veterans

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Pricey silence of Congress veterans

as reported by Rohit Parihar Jaipur, November 13, 2008 India Today


Just when Congress is obliging its veterans by giving their kin tickets and hitting hard at the BJP, the party is embarrassed to know that three of its senior leaders asked no questions during the entire term in Assembly and one just put one question.


Shiv Charan Mathur, former chief minister who was recently appointed governor of Assam, asked no question but picked up Rs 20 lakh as allowance.


More ironical is that party's defacto chief ministerial candidate Ashok Gehlot, former chief minister asked nothing and picked up Rs 17 lakh as allowance. He is leading the party in making allegations of corruption and bad management against ruling BJP and its Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje.


Another former chief minister Jagan Nath Pahadia whose son got ticket, asked just one question but was handsomely paid Rs 16 lakh as allowance. Even former PCC chief Narain Singh scored a zero in asking questions and picked up Rs 16.44 lakh in allowance.


Interestingly, all four did so irrespective of their alliances.

While Gehlot heads his own group and appeared very little in Assembly on instructions of high command to stay away from the state, the other three have been against Gehlot and none know why they kept silent.


Informally or formally, they had been in the forefront in targetting Gehlot when he was in power and always held the opinion that he got Congress defeated in 2003 Assembly polls.


Why they preferred to be silent in attacking Raje is also a mystery, though insiders say none of the four wanted to open their mouth and become a target of their opponents.


Factions within Congress often used Assembly proceedings to run down rivals before high command-BD Kalla was removed as leader of opposition when Gehlot faction convinced high command that he performed badly in Assembly.


Raje has repeatedly asked the Congress leaders why they failed as the opposition party of the state.


These facts, procured by a Jaipur resident under right to information, justify her charge. Congress will now have to answer why its leader speak about government inefficiency only during elections.


India Today - India's most widely read magazine.

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Atul Patankar



Long back, Delhi correspondent of a Marathi Daily, Mr. Ashok Jain, compiled similar data for Members of Loksabha (from Maharashtra onlly). Remember there was no RTI - and there was no computerisation. He found many who had not opened their mouth even once - not to ask question, not to make speech, nothing - except voting 'Aye' at right time. He dubbed them 'Mauni Khasdars' - a mocking comparison to Mahatma Gandhis 'Maun Vrat or periods of silence.


Alas, the voters just did not mind. The voters elected almost all of them to next loksabha!

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Alas, the voters just did not mind. !


Do they have a choice ?

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